January 2011

Managing CPE for your firm is a lot of work. Let CPE Link help!

Using the dashboard of CPE Link’s Firm CPE Center, account administrators can access a robust curriculum of live webcasts and self-study courses and register individuals or groups for upcoming CPE. All registration confirmations, reminders, evaluations and certificates of completion are delivered online to both firm administrators and staff.

The Firm CPE Center provides one place to house all CPE data and to view and manage all CPE activity, improving efficiency and making it easier for staff to meet their requirements for continuing professional education. New features for adding and exporting CPE data make the Firm CPE Center a free alternative to costly Learning Management Systems (LMS).

The Firm CPE Center is convenient and economical to use in any size office, whether you are managing CPE for one individual or a staff of hundreds. It taps the power of cloud computing, so no specialized software needs to be purchased, installed, or maintained.

For added savings, medium to large firms may choose to purchase CPE hours in quantity at a discount with a Firm Advantage Pass and allocate them to staff as needed. Together, the enhanced Firm CPE Center and the Firm Advantage Pass provide a powerful solution for reducing the cost and effort of ensuring CPE compliance firm-wide.

With over 500 firms using the Firm CPE Center now, we continue to listen to suggestions and plan to add more features in the future. What would you like to see in the Firm CPE Center?


You can run, but you can’t hide! The three-year phase-in period for the use of eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is about to hit the last group in the cycle. Effective June 15, 2011 smaller reporting companies (and all other remaining filers using U.S. GAAP) must now attach an exhibit with all their periodic filings. The XBRL “tags” in the exhibit will allow users to easily search for and access specific financial information.

Yes, XBRL is becoming the de facto standard for electronic communication of business and financial data in accounting reports and business documents. So, you may want to learn a little more about how to read and write XML files.

Not excited about learning about XBRL? Here’s a suggestion: Combining something you’re not familiar with (XBRL) with something you use every day (Excel!) may make you more comfortable with the new technology.

CPE Link is offering a live webcast on January 26 on Introduction to XBRL. Instructor, David Ringstrom will demonstrate how to use XML and XBRL data in Excel. You’ll also learn which versions of Excel aren’t XML “aware.”

With provisions that affect both 2010 returns and forward planning for 2011 and 2012, the Tax Relief Act of 2010 puts pressure on tax practitioners to get up to speed rapidly on how to advise clients. Several income tax provisions have implications for the 2010 estimated tax payments, including the January 15, 2011 estimate, and also the 2010 returns themselves. In some cases, provisions may affect retroactively the estates of people who died in 2010.

CPE Link has responded with a new webcast devoted to the new rules of the Tax Relief Act of 2010 with an emphasis on estate planning and wealth succession and key rules for individuals and businesses.

The 2-hour webcast, Tax Relief Act Of 2010: Focus On Financial and Estate Planning puts practitioners on the cutting edge of financial and estate planning for 2011 and 2012. “The political theater that led to the Act’s passage is over and tax practitioners have to deal immediately with the reality. This course helps them to leverage the detailed provisions of the Act in practical and client-friendly financial and estate plans,” said instructor Owen Fiore, JD, who represents families and business entities in developing and implementing tax sensitive wealth succession, preservation and management plans.

This webcast covers the following topics:

  • What to do with estates of decedents dying in 2010, including election to opt into a “zero estate tax” but with carryover income tax basis.
  • How estate plans must be revised in 2011, to account for new estate tax provisions of the Tax Relief Act of 2010.
  • What Congress may do in 2011, especially with GRATs (grantor retained annuity trust) and valuation discounts.
  • The new attraction of major gifts and leveraged gifting through Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs) and Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs).

CPAs, enrolled agents, and financial planners can sign up now for the CPE Link webcast offered January 21 or February 9.